Giggs insists only success will make Olympics fun
Ryan Giggs claims he'll only truly enjoy his London 2012 experience if his Team GB side is successful.
Giggs isn’t interested in being an Olympic tourist and getting his picture taken with the likes of Dame Kelly Holmes in this, his first summer tournament at the age of 38.
British club football’s most-decorated player will be focused on winning on Thursday night, when he leads Stuart Pearce’s Brit pack out for their opening group game against Senegal at his beloved Old Trafford.
“I’m still disappointed I never got to a major championship with Wales, but we weren’t good enough to get to a European Championship or World Cup,” said the Manchester United legend.
“So to get the chance to play in a tournament at such a late stage of my career is obviously one I’m excited about and looking forward to it.
“We’ve embraced the whole experience. We were fortunate to go the athletes’ village last week and to walk round there, meet Kelly Holmes and to see other athletes from other sports have all been good experiences.
“But the bottom line is we’re here to play football matches.
"You want to win every game and win the tournament, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
Giggs and his GB team-mates have found the Olympics something of a culture shock.
It is understood they were surprised to discover they were staying in the same hotel as the Senegal players, as well as the Uruguay and UAE squads, who also meet at Old Trafford to kick off Thursday's double header.
But they are adjusting, and Giggs says claiming Olympic gold would rank alongside his 12 Premier League, two Champions League, four FA Cup and four League Cup winner’s medals.
“It would be up there,” said the Welshman. “Any sort of trophy is good and I don’t like to prioritise any medal or trophy that you win better than any other because it’s always a good feeling when you win.
“It will rank highly, but it is different. As a footballer, you don’t start out in your career hoping to win the Olympics.
“You want to win leagues, FA Cups and European Cups, but now that we’re here, we hope to go a long way.”
Giggs is finding the Games familiar, yet different at the same time, and he expects it to feel weird leading Great Britain out at a stadium he knows so well.
“It’s going to be strange,” he said. “I’ve done it once before, when Wales played England.
"That day, I was in the away dressing room. Fortunately I’m in the home one this time.
"It will be strange because my bread and butter is playing for United here in front of United fans. But I’m looking forward to it.”